The emergence of robotic-assisted spine surgery is an exciting development that promises higher levels of accuracy and success with spinal procedures, as well as reduced risks and decreased recovery times for patients. But how is this new technology best used? What conditions can robotic spine surgery help correct?
The short answer is robotic spine surgery can be used in many applications requiring minimally invasive procedures, especially those requiring the accurate placement of screws or implants. That said, let’s look briefly at some specific spine conditions currently being addressed by robotic surgery.
Degenerative Disc Disease
More a condition of age than an illness, degenerative disc disease refers to the natural wear-and-tear on the spine as the discs between the vertebrae begin to dry out and become thin and brittle, causing more friction and pain. The surgical solution for degenerative disc disease is usually spinal fusion, in which the affected vertebrae are fused together using bone grafts and screws. Robotic spine surgery can help with placement of these implants, improving accuracy and recovery times.
The discs between the vertebrae are often compared to small “jelly donuts” that provide cushioning between the vertebrae. When a disc becomes weak, the gel can be displaced, causing a bulge or rupture and causing the gel to protrude, putting pressure on the spine and affecting nearby nerves. Surgical solutions for herniated disc may include removing part or all of the affected disc, and/or spinal fusion. Robotics can improve accuracy and lower risk and pain factors associated with these procedures.
Spondylolisthesis occurs when one or more vertebrae slips out of proper alignment, causing severe and consistent spinal pain. Surgical solutions usually involve realigning the vertebrae and stabilizing the spine through spinal fusion — a task accomplished more accurately and less invasively with the help of robotics.
Scoliosis describes a sideways curvature of the spine, often occurring in children but also in some adults. When surgery is required to correct scoliosis, it involves a series of bone grafts and fusion procedures to straighten the spine. Robotic spine surgery can greatly improve the impact of these procedures, reducing pain, risk and recovery times.
Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery is happy to offer robotic spine surgery as a state-of-the-art surgical solution for patients for whom non-surgical treatments are ineffective. To learn more about whether robotic spine surgery is right for you, call us at 404-256-2633.